There isn't any time for the Philadelphia Eagles to lament their loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The focus in Philadelphia has shifted to the big game set to take at Lincoln Financial Field in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football. It's Eagles versus Cowboys, and the stakes are high. Winner takes control of the NFC East with just two games remaining in the 2014 NFL season.
The Birds have already proved they are capable of beating Dallas. The Eagles beat the stuffing out of the Cowboys two weeks ago on Thanksgiving day. There are some difference this time around. For whatever reason, the Cowboys have had more success on the road (6-0) than they've had at home (3-4). Tony Romo, among other players, also won't have the excuse of playing on short rest. There's more of a desperation factor in this game -- for both sides.
Here's a look at what Kelly had to say about the Eagles' rivaled opponent.
Did the Eagles hold back in the first game?
No. Our goal in the first game was we've got to do everything we possibly can to beat a really good football team. So, we didn't look at it in any way. That's just the way it happens. We played a game, played another team in between, and then we have to play them again. So, we didn't really overanalyze it.
The challenge of playing the same team twice in one season
Yeah, you don't do it at all in college unless you have a matchup in a bowl game or a conference championship game. But I don't really think it's a challenge. I think everybody has the same thing. They have the same amount of time to prepare for us and we have the same amount of time. It was two weeks since the last time we played them. Just go play. I think you can paralyze yourself by trying to overanalyze it [by saying,] ‘They think that we know that they think this. So then we think that they think that this will [happen].’ We’re going to go play. I've got great respect for Rod [Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli] and Monte [Cowboys assistant head coach/defense Monte Kiffin] on defense, and what Jason [Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett] and [Cowboys passing game coordinator] Scott Linehan and [Cowboys offensive coordinator/offensive line coach] Bill Callahan are doing on offense. I would imagine [Cowboys RB] DeMarco Murray is probably going to carry the ball a lot against us in our game. I think they'll probably try to throw the ball to [Cowboys WR] Dez Bryant in our game. They'll probably try to find the tight end a lot in third-down situations in our game. We'll give the ball to [RB] LeSean McCoy in our game. I mean, it's kind of similar to what happened the last time. It's just about really going out and executing and which team can execute better and which team can block better and which team can tackle better.
The impact of extra rest for Tony Romo
[Sarcasm] We're preparing for speed option. A lot of quarterback power runs now that he has the extra days to go.
Any explanation why the Cowboys are better on the road?
No and I don't think I have to. I mean, I don't really care. I mean, we don't look at, ‘Hey, how did they play in a home game as opposed to an away game.’ We are just trying to prepare for them. Last year we were 6‑2 away, and only 4‑4 at home. We didn't wrestle and go over it. Now this year we're better at home than we are away. You can analyze metrics all you want. I don't know what they are compared to night games and day games, but we haven't spent much time on that one either.
Worried about overconfidence?
No, I don't ever get that feeling from this team being an overconfident team. I think any confidence that they've derived is through their preparation during the week leading up to the team that we're playing. And that's what this group really has. They understand the rhythm that we have to get into. The last time we played them it was a nontraditional week in terms of what we had to do, but I thought they handled that really well. This is a normal week for us with a Tuesday introduction, Wednesday is a third-down day, Thursday being a red-zone day, Friday – kind of getting into the same rhythm. At this point in time, having played 13 games, I think they kind of understand what they have to do from a preparation standpoint.
Eagles defensive line versus Cowboys offensive line
I think it's the same thing. I think they're going to do what they do, and we're going to do what we do. Hopefully we can be as successful again, but I know they're going to give us their best shot. And I think that will be a really interesting matchup, their O‑line versus our D‑line.
Magnitude of the game
No, but I think we have the same magnitude no matter what because it's always on the line. I don't think one game is more significant than any other game. If you didn't prepare and win nine games to this point, this game would mean absolutely nothing. You just can't wake up one day and say, ‘Hey this game is really important this week,’ and then that diminishes the game the next week. But every game comes down to – and in this league because everything is so close, every game you play, no matter if it was the opening game of the year or it's this game this week, our whole mantra has been it's always on the line no matter who you're playing and when you're playing them.
[Ed. note: And as a bonus...]
Does Chip ever pick the game captains for the coin toss based on who they're playing? (Like how Jeff Fisher trolled Washington)
[Sarcasm] Yeah, we actually have studied who does a better job of staring down, because then we get what their captains are going to be like. We try to match up heights, like who can stare them down better.
To buy tickets, visit the NFL Ticket Exchange.